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Read More... - Solitaire International
David Bennett Named Sotheby’s Worldwide Jewellery Chairman
Daryl Wickstrom,
international managing
director of Sotheby’s
jewellery & watch divisions,
announced the appointment
of David Bennett to the
newly-created position of
worldwide chairman of
Sotheby’s international
jewellery division. An
auctioneer for the firm
since 1978, Bennett has
presided over many recordbreaking sales, including
the “Graff Pink” that set
the current auction record
for any diamond and any
jewel when it sold for $46.2
million in November 2010,
as well as an extraordinary
seven 100+ carat diamonds.
Wickstrom commented:
“David Bennett has led
Sotheby’s jewellery sales in
Europe to an incredible list
of historic results over the
course of his four decades
with the company. He is
celebrated and respected
throughout this field for his
impressive scholarship,
extensive knowledge of
jewellery and precious
stones, and consummate
skills as an auctioneer.
Sotheby’s global sales of
jewellery are experiencing
some of the fastest growth
among the many collecting
categories we offer, and
in this new global role
David will help design and
implement a strategy for the
continued expansion and
development of this critical
arm of our business.
Under Bennett’s
leadership, Sotheby’s
Geneva has presented
many jewels of supreme
historical importance,
among them the legendary
“Beau Sancy”, a diamond
that had once graced the
collection of Henry IV of
France, and the emerald
and diamond tiara formerly
in the collection of Princess
Katharina Henckel von
“With the support of a
network of jewellery experts
that is unparalleled in the
auction market, led by Lisa
Hubbard, chairman North
& South America, Sotheby’s
Jewellery, Quek Chin Yeow,
chairman Asia, Sotheby’s
Jewellery, and Patti Wong,
chairman of Sotheby’s
Diamonds, the company
stands in a unique position
to serve our rapidlyexpanding client base,”
Wickstrom noted.
Bennett is the co-author,
with Daniela Mascetti, of
the celebrated reference
book Understanding
Jewellery, in print since
1989, and Celebrating
Jewellery (2012). He
said: “Sotheby’s jewellery
sales are in an excellent
position to experience
continued growth beyond
our recent record results,
which culminated in 2014
with our highest-ever
annual total of more than
$600 million in sales. Our
client base is constantly
expanding – buyers from
more than 74 countries
participated in our auctions
last year in New York,
Geneva, Hong Kong and
London, with a quarter of
all bidders participating in a
Sotheby’s auction for their
first time.” 
Manubhai Jewellers Gifts iPhones To Lucky Diamond Jewellery Buyers
Mumbai-based Manubhai
Jewellers gave away an
iPhone 6 to one lucky winner
every Monday for six weeks as
part of its Lucky Draw contest
which ran from February 16
to March 23. Customers who
purchased diamond jewellery
worth I10,000 and above
automatically qualified for the
contest. According to Samir
Sagar, director, Manubhai
Jewellers, the promotion
received an “exhilarating
response” from customers,
with close to 150 entries
being recorded each week. 
20 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
Pure Gold Jewellers To Invest $25 Mn In PM Modi’s GIFT Project
Firoz Merchant, chairman,
Pure Gold Jewellers.
Dubai-based jewellery
retailer Pure Gold Jewellers,
the only World Diamond
Mark- certified company
in the GCC and India,
announced plans to invest
$25 million (I157 crore)
in Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s ambitious
Gujarat International
Finance Tec-City (GIFT)
project, which aims to
create the first global
financial hub in India.
India’s Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley in his budget
speech in February
announced that regulations
for investors in GIFT will be
in place by March 2015.
Pure Gold Jewellers will
invest in various projects of
GIFT City.
Firoz Merchant, founder
and chairman of Pure
Gold Jewellers, said, “An
investment-friendly tax
regime like the GIFT opens
endless possibilities for
India’s economy and the
cost of transaction for
businesses like ours will
be more affordable. We
decided to invest in the
various projects of GIFT
City as we see a huge
potential in this for jewellery
companies like ours in the
commodity sector to avail
of cost-effective operations
that will aid us in our
expansion plans in India
and also globally. With the
support of the Honourable
Prime Minister and the
government as highlighted
in the recent budget
announcement, this is a
project that has a strong
backing and I firmly believe
that GIFT will be a success
GIFT City is a 50:50 joint
venture between India’s
Gujarat Urban Development
Company Limited (GUDCL)
and Infrastructure Leasing
and Financial Services (IL &
FS) Limited and is a dream
project of Modi that he had
proposed in 2007 as chief
minister of Gujarat.
The project has generated
great interest in the
industry. India’s National
Stock Exchange (NSE)
signed a Memorandum
of Understanding on
February 26, 2015 with the
GIFT City to establish an
International Exchange at
GIFT City which will provide
an electronic platform
for facilitating trading,
clearing and settlement
of securities. It will also
explore the possibility of
starting trading facilities
in different asset classes
like equities, interest rates,
currencies, among others
and their derivatives once
the guidelines are issued
by the government and the
regulators. 
GJF Concerned Over PAN Card Proviso On Sales Worth K1 Lakh
The All India Gems & Jewellery
Trade Federation (GJF) expressed
concern and dissatisfaction over
the government requirement to
quote an individual’s Permanent
Account Number (PAN) on any
transaction exceeding I1 lakh. The
finance minister had introduced
the measure in the recent budget
with the aim of curbing black money
within the country.
(From left) GJF member, governing board of directors, Jatin Chheda; GJF director & past chairman
According to the GJF, the
Ashok Minawala; and GJF member, governing board of directors, Kumar Jain addressing the media.
move was impractical and would
especially discriminate against rural buyers. GJF chairman
not have PAN cards. This would not be fair and justifiable
Haresh Soni said, “The requirement of PAN card would
under law as it tantamount to discrimination.”
discourage thousands of buyers from buying jewellery
GJF director Ashok Minawala said, “We will be facing
since many of them may not have PAN cards, particularly
problems of encouraging buyers to visit our showrooms. It
people who are mostly engaged in farming and private
is a negative step for the industry as this would neutralise
business in rural India. We have TCS applicable on sales
benefits arising out of monetisation scheme which is
of bullion on I2 lakh and on I5 lakh of jewellery. The new
positive. As of last year, there are more than 14 crore PAN
proposal of adding a further requirement of PAN card on
cards issued in India. Will it be justifiable to ask for a PAN
sales over I1 lakh will be discriminating the 70% of rural
card to approximately 89% of the population who do not
buyers of jewellery as they are not under tax net and do
possess one?” 
22 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
Vicenza Jewellery Museum Exhibits Sea Jewels
The Vicenza Jewellery Museum is holding the exhibition
‘Sea Jewels, Corals, Cameos, Pearls between Memory
and Innovation’, from March 20 to July 1, organised
by Assocoral in collaboration with Fiera di Vicenza and
curated by Cristina Del Mare.
The exhibition presents over 100 items, including sets,
necklaces, bracelets, brooches and cameos, extracted
from the rarest, most prestigious materials found in the
sea and transformed into splendid jewels by companies in
Torre del Greco, some founded over a hundred years ago.
Corrado Facco, general manager of the Fiera di Vicenza,
said: “The Sea Jewels exhibition is a true journey through
Italian art, manufacturing and culture, expressing the
jewellery museum’s basic philosophy through precious sea
jewels. This exhibition stresses the museum’s innovative,
dynamic concept: not a celebration space, but evoking a
wider jewellery spectrum.” 
The CIBJO Marketing &
Education Commission,
headed by Jonathan
Kendall, released the first
of the CIBJO commission's
Special Reports just a
couple of months before
the 2015 CIBJO Congress
in Salvador, Brazil, on May
4. The report urges the
jewellery and gemstone
industries not to fall
behind other business
sectors in adopting positive
environmental policies.
The upcoming CIBJO
Congress in Brazil will be
carbon-neutral, Kendall
noted, likely making it the
first ever major jewellery
industry conference or
trade show to achieve this
status. He also announced
the launch in Brazil of the
“CIBJO Climate Leadership
Awards”, which will focus on
recognising those jewellery
and gemstone trade
organisations, companies
or individuals that show
real leadership in response
to climate change.
24 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
“Research has shown
that consumers make
choices between product
categories, and today
the jewellery industry’s
competition comes
from products such as
smartphones, computers,
and holidays. All these
industries have made
significant progress with
regard to the environment.
We do not wish to see our
industry left behind, and on
the wrong side of history,”
Kendall said. 
CIBJO Releases Marketing & Education Special Report
Narayan Jewellers Celebrates
75th Anniversary
Vadodara-based jewellery retailer Narayan Jewellers
commemorated its 75th anniversary by unveiling the
Forevermark Oscar Red Carpet 2015 bespoke diamond
jewellery collection. Gracing the occasion, actresses Aditi
Rao Hydari and Shazahn Padamsee wore pieces from the
new line.
Ketan Chokshi, owner, Narayan Jewellers, said, “We are
elated to have completed 75 successful years of retail at
Narayan Jewellers. We look back at the years that have
gone by with a feeling of joy and pride and thank our
esteemed customers for their long-standing support that
has brought us this far. We take this opportunity to not
only celebrate the milestone but also rededicate ourselves
to preserving the purity of our heritage and upholding
the trust our customers place in us. Our partnership with
Forevermark has also allowed us to be a part of many
spectacular and world-renowned events. We are honoured
to be aligned with them over the years.”
Speaking on the occasion, Sachin Jain, president,
Forevermark India, said, “We are pleased to strengthen
our association with Narayan Jewellers as we share a
(From left) Jatin Chokshi, Shazahn Padamsee, Ketan Chokshi,
Aditi Rao Hydari along with Sachin Jain.
mutual passion for diamonds; they too believe in the
Forevermark promise of providing their valued customers
a promise of beautiful diamonds without having to worry
about the quality, integrity and authenticity. We would
like to congratulate them for completing 75 glorious and
sparkling years.” 
Israel To Host 2015 Presidents’ Meeting In June
© Alrosa
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) and the Israel
Diamond Manufacturers Association will be hosting the
biennial Presidents’ Meeting of the World Federation of
Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond
Manufacturers Association (IDMA) in Israel, at the Tel Aviv
Hilton Hotel, on June 14-16.
During the three-day event, the leaders of the 30
diamond bourses affiliated to the WFDB, and IDMA’s
16-member organisation will discuss the most pressing
issues affecting the global diamond industry. They will
be joined by an exclusive group of invited guests, mostly
representatives of the major rough producers; companies
and entities that provide crucial services to the industry,
such as banks and other financing institutions; insurers;
logistics, security and technology providers; governmental
and non-governmental organisations and other industry
interest groups.
IDE president Shmuel Schnitzer said the meeting comes
at a time when the diamond industry is facing a variety of
challenges: rough diamond supplies, pressure on polished
diamond prices, the need for additional financial partners,
and mounting competition in the luxury consumer product
markets. “We look forward to hosting our colleagues from
the WFDB affiliated bourses and the IDMA membership
and trust we will discuss ways to take our industry toward
significant growth,” he added.
Instituted in the early 1980s, Presidents’ Meetings
take place every two years, with the full World Diamond
Congress held in the intervening years. Originally, the
scope of the Presidents’ Meetings was more limited in size
and attendance, but over the years, the need to meet and
discuss crucial issues has grown, and with that the range
and number of participants taking part in these meetings.
This is the second Presidents’ Meeting to be held in Israel.
The first time Israel hosted a Presidents' Meeting was in
1990. Israel has also hosted six World Diamond Congresses –
in 1956, 1968, 1978, 1986, 1996 and in 2006. 
Kolears Launches Jewelled Portraits
Laser-printed gold
pendant by Kolears.
(From left) Rajendra Jain, Manish D. Salla of Kolears and
Snehal Ambekar.
Jewellery manufacturer Kolears introduced cutting-edge
technology capable of laser printing on gold, enabling the
reproduction of any image on jewellery. At a recently held
exhibition in Mumbai, a 22-karat gold jewellery collection
studded with Swarovski Zirconia was inaugurated by
Rajendra Jain, managing director of Swarovski Gemstones,
India and Snehal Ambekar, mayor of Mumbai.
Joyalukkas Opens Fourth Showroom In Saudi Arabia
Jewellery retail chain Joyalukkas
inaugurated its latest showroom in Saudi
Arabia, its fourth in the country and
89th across the world. The new store is
located in Lulu Hypermarket, King Faisal
Street, Jubail. The opening ceremony
was attended by Yusuff Ali M.A.,
managing director, Lulu International
Group and Prince Saud Bin Abdullah Bin
Abdul Aziz. Also present were Bader bin
Mohammed Al-Qtaishan, governor of
Jubail; John Paul Joy Alukkas, executive
director, Joyalukkas Group; Sonia John
Paul, director, Joyalukkas Group; and
Antony Jos, director, Joyalukkas Group. 
Alrosa Reports Net Loss Of $295 Mn For 2014
Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds in
carats, said its revenue for 2014 increased by 23% year28 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
on-year to RUB207.2 billion ($3.6 billion). Earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)
grew by 36% to reach RUB93.9 billion ($1.6 billion) with the
EBITDA margin going up to 45%.
Alrosa recorded a net loss of RUB16.8 billion ($295
million) for the year due to increased foreign exchange loss
as a result of the revaluation of the US-denominated part of
the debt portfolio following the ruble depreciation in 2014.
Free cash flow in 2014 increased by 2.6 times year-onyear and amounted to RUB44.8 billion ($786 million) as a
result of the ruble depreciation against the US dollar, higher
operating profit and reduced capital expenditures.
In 2014, Alrosa’s rough diamond production fell 2% to
36.2 million carats and rough diamond sales rose 4% to
39.6 million carats. 
Global Diamond Producers To
Present At Dubai Conference
The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a DMCC platform,
announced that leading mining executives from De Beers
Group, Alrosa and Endiama will make a presentation at the
second Dubai Diamond Conference (DDC). The conference
will take place on April 21-22 at Almas Tower, the Middle
East’s tallest commercial tower and home to the DDE.
The conference will see Paul Rowley, executive vice
president of De Beers Group Sightholder Sales; Andrey
Polyakov, vice president of Alrosa and Carlos Sumbula,
president of Endiama discuss the ‘New Silk Route’, and
share their insights on the trading shift from the West to
Africa and Asia.
The three companies combined represent more than twothirds of the world’s rough diamond output. Alrosa leads the
world’s diamond mining by volume, De Beers by turnover,
and Endiama’s diamond deposits are among the most
promising for future kimberlite discoveries.
Rowley said: “The outlook for the diamond industry is
bright, but this opportunity will only be fully realised if
investments are made across the value chain. The Dubai
Diamond Conference provides an ideal opportunity for
industry stakeholders to discuss the challenges and
opportunities across the diamond pipeline.”
The conference will also welcome the main diamond
trade leaders: Edward Asscher, president of World Diamond
Council; Ernie Blom, president of World Federation of
Diamond Bourses; and Maxim Shkadov, president of
International Diamond Manufacturers Association.
Asscher said: “Dubai is an established part of the
diamond community. The city has brought new energy to
the industry and a much-needed gateway to the Middle
Eastern retail market. I am looking forward to having an
open discussion about the challenges of the diamond
Centred around the theme ‘The New Silk Route’, the
conference will bring together over 500 stakeholders from
the diamond industry including government ministers,
regulators, policy advisors, jewellers and traders. Herman
Van Rompuy, former President of the EU, will give the
opening address. 
Arianna Fine Jewellery Opens In Abu Dhabi Mall
Luxury boutique Arianna Fine Jewellery from Pure Gold
Group opened in the centrally located Abu Dhabi Mall in
30 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
early March, giving customers access to precious jewellery
and accessories designed by international jewellery houses
like Moraglione and Annamaria Cammilli. Customers can
also select from a range of unique jewellery pieces by inhouse designers.
The new boutique entailed an investment of AED10
million ($2.7 million). Launched in 2013 at the Burj Al
Arab, Arianna has since expanded its global reach with an
outlet in the luxurious settings of Peninsula Hotel in Paris
and recently opening in Opera Galleria in Oman.
Speaking about Arianna’s opening in Abu Dhabi, Karim
Merchant, CEO & MD of Pure Gold Group, said: “Abu
Dhabi has a growing affluent community with strong retail
purchase power and brand awareness. It is the ideal
market for luxury branded jewellery and we selected
Abu Dhabi Mall for its central location and high footfall.
At Arianna customers can find sophisticated pieces that
appeal to their desire for exclusivity.” 
WDMF Lauds Miners’
Meet On Generic Diamond
he World Diamond Mark
Foundation (WDMF) issued
a statement saying it was
pleased with the outcome of the
meeting held by a number of the major
producers who gathered in London to
discuss diamond marketing, industry
research and the threat to consumer
confidence from undisclosed synthetic
stones entering the market, as reported by
The meeting was believed to be
attended by representatives of De Beers,
Rio Tinto, Alrosa, Dominion Diamond
Corp., OAO Lukoil, Petra Diamonds
Ltd., Gem Diamonds Ltd. and Lucara
Diamond Corp.
The Bloomberg report quoted Rio
Tinto as saying that “a meeting was
32 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
held to assess the need for a producer
association similar to other commoditybased organisations.” Rio Tinto declined
to name all the participants. “The idea of
the body is to promote the interests of
diamond producers and the diamond
sector more generally. We will continue
the discussions with industry participants,”
it told Bloomberg.
It was also said that the producers
had discussed the need for an industry
association that “would help to formalise
an industry response to questions from
consumers and investors” on issues such as
synthetic diamonds, as well as promotion
and marketing. William Lamb, chief
executive officer of Lucara, was quoted,
saying that the producers agreed “that it
was time that we had something like this in
place.” The news agency further reported
that “the group will have an initial budget
of $6 million a year...”
Speaking from Hong Kong, Ernest
Blom, president of the World Federation of
Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and WDMF
vice chairman, said: “As the WDMF is
already pushing forward and is in advanced
stages toward the implementation of a
comprehensive strategy and programme
for the generic promotion of diamonds,
we hope to engage with the producers
and get them on board with us, as their
participation and stated willingness to
fund such efforts will be crucial to the
success of generic promotion throughout
the supply pipeline.”
WDMF chairman Alex Popov
commented that at the same time that the
producers were meeting in London, in
Hong Kong an exclusive group of diamond
industry members was discussing
diamond promotion as well. “While the
producers were meeting in London, we
were holding the first edition of a think
tank meeting on diamond marketing in
Hong Kong – suggested by Rio Tinto and
implemented by the WDMF – that was
attended by representatives of retailers,
manufacturers, bankers and producers
to discuss the game plan for joint generic
promotion. The parties agreed not to
disclose the nature of discussions but
expressed optimism and determination to
take generic diamond promotion further,”
Popov said.
“Obviously, the London meeting offers
proof that also among the producers there
is a growing recognition that we need to
come together on the topic of generic
diamond promotion. We sincerely hope,
for the sake of the entire supply line, that
the producers will throw their full weight
behind the efforts of the WDMF and join
us in this most important endeavour,”
Popov added. 
Rio Tinto Launches Jewellery Designs For US & Chinese Markets
Rio Tinto has introduced its latest range of Argyle diamond
jewellery collections for the US and Chinese markets
as part of its commitment to the world’s largest retail
diamond jewellery market and ongoing investment to
develop the diamond fashion jewellery market in China,
creating opportunities for diamond purchasing beyond the
solitaire engagement ring.
For the US market, Rio Tinto is working with four leading
American jewellery designers: Jennifer Dawes, Suzanne
Kalan, Matthew Campbell Laurenza and Sandy Leong. Rio
Tinto has a long history in establishing and driving growth
in the US diamond jewellery market with its champagne
diamond promotion activities and more recently its global
design platform, Diamonds with a Story.
Director of Rio Tinto Diamonds' North American office,
Brandee Dallow, said, “I am delighted to preview these
collections tailored especially for the US market. The
four designers were selected because of their unique
perspective on design, unparalleled attention to detail and
love of jewellery and fashion. They have brought Diamonds
with a Story to life in designs that speak of the origin,
beauty and colour of Australia’s Argyle diamonds.”
The bespoke collections will be showcased at the
JCK Las Vegas trade show in May and sold at select US
retailers in June 2015. Each collection features 12-18
pieces including rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets
handmade with 18-karat gold and Argyle diamonds.
PDLG Creative Intelligence presented the latest
international trends in design and demonstrated how
these translate into diamond fashion jewellery for the
Chinese consumer. PDLG Creative Intelligence creative
director and forecaster Paola De Luca said, “Trends are
increasingly global and consumers around the world have
the same desire; to express themselves through diamond
jewellery. I’m delighted to be able to share these global
design directions tailored especially for Rio Tinto’s trade
partners in the Chinese market.”
Rio Tinto Diamonds has been on the ground in China
for five years and has witnessed this market’s appetite
for global jewellery trends. Rio Tinto Diamonds' marketing
general manager Bruno Sané said, “We entered the
Chinese market in 2010 after identifying the beginning
of a long-term trend of Chinese consumers adopting
diamond jewellery as an everyday fashion accessory. Over
the ensuing years we have been delighted to see this
trend accelerate.”
The growth in volume from Rio Tinto’s Argyle
underground mine in Australia will help meet China’s
growing demand for diamonds and diamond accessories,
as the quality of Argyle diamonds is ideally suited for
fashion jewellery. In addition to design support, Rio Tinto
provides the Chinese diamond trade with a comprehensive
package including research, training and marketing as
part of its ‘The Fashion of Diamonds’ initiative. 
IIDGR Upgrades DiamondView Instrument
The De Beers-owned International Institute of Diamond
Grading & Research (IIDGR) revealed details of an upgraded
DiamondView instrument at GIA GemFest in Basel.
DiamondView is part of the suite of IIDGR verification
technology. The instrument generates a surface
fluorescence image on any stone being tested, providing
information on growth history from which synthetics can be
The upgraded DiamondView instrument incorporates
easy-to-change filters to aid user interpretation of
fluorescence images and the detection of synthetics. The
addition of filtering to the fluorescence image can enhance
synthetic-specific features, making detection easier.
DiamondView filtering is particularly useful for identifying
synthetics produced by the Chemical Vapour Deposition
(CVD) process.
Jonathan Kendall, IIDGR president, said: “This upgrade to
the DiamondView instrument represents the latest step in
our continued investment in synthetic detection technology
and consumer confidence. Maintaining trust in diamonds
is crucial, so we are pleased to introduce this upgrade to
34 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
DiamondView and we will continue to invest in technology
to support confidence in diamonds throughout the value
The latest version of the DiamondView instrument will
be available from June 2015. 
Alrosa Considers Udachny MPD Development
Diamond mining major
Alrosa’s executive
committee considered
matters relating to the
development of the Udachny
mining and processing
division (MPD) at a meeting
held on March 26. It
considered the prospects of
diamond mining at VerkhneMunskoye and Zarnitsa
deposits, which is a part of
the company’s long-term
development programme
that envisages the increase
of production to 41 million
In particular, the
committee examined
different options of
Verkhne-Munskoye field’s
development. The accepted
project provides building
of a new diamond mining
enterprise with annual
capacity of 3 million tonnes
of ore; ore processing will
take place at the Udachny
MPD’s processing plant
No. 12. The ore will be
transported by an allseason road using roadtrains.
The committee decided
to set up and approve the
programme of construction
of diamond mining facilities
at the deposit in the first
half of 2015.
The Verkhne-Munskoye
primary deposit is located
160 km from Udachny
MPD. It consists of four
kimberlite pipes with
aggregate mineral reserves
of 65 million tonnes of ore.
According to the current
production plan, mining
operations at the VerkhneMunskoye will start in
2018 and reach its design
capacity in 2019.
The executive committee
also examined options
of ore transporting from
Zarnitsa pipe to the
processing facilities of
Udachny MPD in view of
planned increase of mining
operations. The decision is
to transport the ore using
line-haul trains. 
Gemfields Sponsors 16th Annual ICA Conference
© Gemfields
British gemstone mining firm Gemfields announced
its sponsorship of the International Colored Gemstone
Association’s (ICA) Congress, the most prestigious coloured
gemstone conference in the world.
The 2015 conference, now in its 16th year, will take
place in Sri Lanka from May 16th through the 19th. The
congress brings together leaders and experts in the gem
industry with a number of presentations, special events
and unique experiences highlighting coloured gemstones.
Attending the event on behalf of Gemfields is CEO Ian
36 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
Harebottle, who will discuss current trends in the coloured
gemstone industry during a talk scheduled for May 17th.
“As the leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured
gemstones, Gemfields is a natural partner for the ICA,
whose objectives include promoting the understanding,
appreciation and appeal of coloured gemstones worldwide,
as well as advancing transparency and integrity across the
sector,” said Harebottle.
“The ICA Congress is an important platform for the
coloured gemstone industry. Sri Lanka is a magnificent
country bestowed with some of the world’s most beautiful
gems and, together with the ICA and Gemfields, this event
should serve to foster growth and development of the
coloured gemstone industry in general, and in Sri Lanka in
Clement Sabbagh, ICA director and Congress chairman,
stated: “As a brand that resonates not only with the trade
but also with consumers, Gemfields brings a unique
perspective to the conference. Over the past few years, the
company has successfully promoted coloured gemstone
through a series of global events, designer collaborations
and its association with Mila Kunis, who serves as the
company’s global ambassador. We are proud to have their
support and presence at this year’s congress.” 
Parineeti Chopra Launches NAC Jewellers’ Online Store
N. Anandha Ramanujam and Parineeti Chopra at the
inauguration ceremony.
Chennai-based NAC Jewellers roped in actress Parineeti
Chopra for the launch of its online jewellery store, Stylori.
com, at a ceremony held at the Trident Hotel, Mumbai.
In addition to the website, the Stylori mobile app will also
be available for Android and iOS users soon, followed by
The store’s jewellery collections range from daily wear,
such as rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets, bangles
and nose pins, to more occasion-related designs. It also
offers gold coins, an exclusive collection of solitaire
jewellery and solitaire diamonds starting from less than
.50 cent to 5 carats and above. The jewellery is priced
from I3,000 onwards and is crafted from certified
precious metals and gemstones.
N. Anandha Ramanujam, founder & CEO of,
said, “We understand that jewellery is an integral part
of every modern Indian woman, who prefers to wear the
latest trends and designs. We are very excited to launch
Stylori, which is a one-stop online shopping experience
for fashion-conscious women who love to dress up.”
Speaking at the launch, Chopra added, “The collection
is very simple, it’s very me. I am extremely pleased to
unveil the brand, which represents the new age woman
and celebrates her independence. Stylori aims to fulfil
every woman’s innate need of self-expression through
what she wears. I love the contemporary and feminine
look that is clearly evocative of strength and grace.” 
Alrosa has sold its 84.66% stake in MAK-Bank to Expobank
in a transaction that was closed on February 26 after
the approval of the Central Bank of Russia. Alrosa sold
its subsidiary bank as part of the corporate non-core
asset disposal programme to focus on diamond mining
Sergey Pushkin, the vice-president of Alrosa, said, “We
believe that with the change of ownership MAK-Bank will
develop rapidly providing its clients with modern banking
services. MAK-Bank provides services not only for the
companies but also for a variety of individual clients
including employees of Alrosa and residents of Yakutia. For
this reason, one of the main priorities for Alrosa during the
sale of the banking business was to preserve interests of
the clients and to protect them against funds losses. This
is more important in the context of an unstable economy.
We also welcome the intention of Expobank to provide
smooth operation and service for the clients of MAK-Bank
in Russia, including the offices in the Republic of Sakha.”
MAK-Bank has been operational since 1990. It is
engaged in banking and credit financing in industry,
38 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
Alrosa Sells Subsidiary MAK-Bank
investment and commerce. There are about 3,000
companies and more than 1,00,000 individuals among the
clients of the bank. MAK-Bank has 10 offices in Russia, of
which five are situated in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
Expobank has 17 offices in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg,
Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Krasnoyarsk
and Surgut. About 7,500 companies and more than
1,00,000 individuals are among the clients of the bank. 
Pure Gold Jewellers Opens Latest Store In Dubai’s Karama Centre
Pure Gold Jewellers
expanded its presence in
the UAE with the opening
of a new jewellery retail
outlet in Karama Centre.
This new store will feature
the jeweller’s latest range
of designs and jewellery in
22-karat gold and diamond.
Pure Gold Jewellers
has invested over AED15
million ($4 million) in the
development of the Karama
outlet, which consists
of 70% gold and 30%
diamond jewellery. With the
resurgence of gold as an
investment following the dip
in oil prices, the new store
will cater to the increasing
demand for gold, the
company said.
Karim Merchant, CEO and
MD of Pure Gold Jewellers,
noted: “The demographics
in Karama is most suited
to gold jewellery. The new
store also underlines our
commitment to the UAE and
the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) as we continue to
expand to be present in all
important retail locations.
We plan to open over 25
stores in 2015 across GCC.”
Upcoming store locations
include LuLu Gharafa in
Qatar; Garden Mall in Salala,
Oman; Gulf Mall in Qatar;
Al Hamra Mall in RAK, UAE;
The Wave Mall in Oman;
Boulevard Mall in Kuwait
and Avenue Mall in Oman.
The company is one of
the fastest growing jewellery
brands in the Gulf region and
has a total of 125 stores in
12 countries, including the
UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain,
Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 
Brikk Launches Heptagon Diamond
The Brikk Heptagon tension-set engagement ring
with a 5-carat heptagon diamond with 7 sides and 77
facets. Photo courtesy Business Wire.
Los Angeles-based luxury technology-driven brand Brikk
launched a Heptagon Diamond and Heptagon jewellery
collection as a tribute to the number seven. In the works
for five years, the specially designed Heptagon Diamond
has seven sides with special sparkle and refraction.
Designed by award-winning designer John Bailey, the
custom geometry includes 77 facets as well as 3 sevenpoint stars. The stones are available in 1, 2, 3 and 5-carat
sizes in perfect D colour and IF clarity.
The Heptagon jewellery collection, which houses the
Heptagon Diamond, consists of men’s and women’s rings.
The collection includes three different engagement rings
for women, three engagement/wedding rings for men, and
three wedding bands for women. All models are available
in 24-karat yellow gold, pink gold or 950 platinum. Prices
start at $10,995 for the basic versions without stones and
range up to $1.2 million for the engagement rings with a
5-carat Heptagon centre stone. 
solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015 39
Guests at the unveiling included Hussain Al-Fardan, chairman of the Alfardan Group; Robert Benvenuto, Fabergé president; and
Gemfields chief executive Ian Harebottle.
uests at the unveiling
included Hussain Al-Fardan,
chairman of the Alfardan
Group; Robert Benvenuto,
Fabergé president; and Gemfields chief
executive Ian Harebottle.
Fabergé revives its revered tradition of
creating the most precious and coveted of
objets d’art, by unveiling the Fabergé Pearl
Egg at Baselworld 2015 – the first egg
created in the ‘Imperial Class’ for nearly a
40 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
century where the Fabergé name and the
Fabergé family have been united.
Fabergé announced the buyer of the
Pearl Egg as Hussain Al-Fardan, chairman
of the Alfardan Group and founding
director of Investcorp, and also one of the
most renowned natural pearl collectors in
the world.
The Al- Fardan family of Qatar is one of
the oldest and most successful traditional
pearl merchants in the Gulf. Born in 1933,
The Fabergé Pearl Egg, 2015.
The Fabergé Hen Egg, 1885.
© Courtesy of Getty Images
Hussain Ibrahim Al-Fardan perpetuated
the family legacy, and opened Alfardan
Jewellery in Doha in 1954, now the
exclusive retailer for Fabergé in Qatar.
The Fabergé Pearl Egg draws inspiration
from the formation of a pearl within an
oyster, and the egg’s painstakingly crafted
mother-of-pearl exterior opens to reveal a
unique grey pearl of 12.17 carats, sourced
from the Arabian Gulf and exhibiting
exceptional purity and a highly unusual
shade of grey. This creation exemplifies the
signature art of layering which Fabergé is
known for, harmoniously blending yellow
and white gold to highlight the natural
golden lustre of the pearls.
Harnessing 20 highly skilled
workmasters, the Pearl Egg embodies 139
fine, golden pearls with a golden lustre,
3,305 diamonds, carved rock crystal and
mother-of-pearl set on white and yellow
gold. An ingenious mechanism enables
the entire outer shell to rotate on its base,
simultaneously opening in six sections to
unveil its treasure.
The Fabergé Lilies of the Valley Egg, 1898.
© Courtesy of the Forbes Collection
Al-Fardan commented: “Fabergé
eggs are some of the most iconic and
precious treasures in the world. I have a
passion for pearls and the Fabergé Pearl
Egg is a pearl masterpiece. I am delighted
to have acquired this extraordinary
creation to add to my collection."
Robert Benvenuto, Fabergé
president, said: “We are delighted to
be sharing this historic moment with
our esteemed partner and my personal
friend Hussain Al-Fardan. The Fabergé
Pearl Egg is the first and long-awaited
creation to be unveiled in our precious
objet d’art category and I am thrilled
that it is now part of such a prestigious
private collection.”
Fabergé was founded in 1842 and
won worldwide acclaim for its artistry
in creating objets d’art, jewellery and
timepieces. The Fabergé Imperial Easter
Eggs, commissioned by the Russian
Imperial Family, are almost universally
recognised as the greatest masterpieces
of the jeweller’s art. n
The Fabergé Pearl Egg is
the first and long-awaited
creation to be unveiled
in our precious objet
d’art category and I am
thrilled that it is now part
of such a prestigious
private collection.”
solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015 41
Mirari Launches New Boutique At DLF Emporio, Delhi
Indian contemporary jewellery brand Mirari
launched its flagship boutique at Delhi’s luxury
mall, DLF Emporio. The 520-sq-ft boutique is
finished in teak wood and retains the brand’s
signature style. The boutique displays Mirari’s
latest collections, namely, Love Knots, Amore,
Era of Elephant, Amala and Plush Plume
among others.
Mira Gulati, founder and principle designer,
Mirari, said, “The DLF Emporio venture is my
step to reach out to the aficionados of luxury
jewellery and give my patrons in New Delhi
an easy gateway to reach us. Our collection is
fresh and innovative in terms of design.” 
Forevermark Retail Network Grows 20% In 2014
De Beers diamond brand Forevermark saw impressive
growth in 2014, ending the year in 1,542 retail stores
across 34 markets, a 20% increase on 2013. The 2014
results were driven predominantly by demand in the US
and the growing middle class in India and China who are
increasingly choosing diamond jewellery to mark important
occasions such as engagements and weddings, the
company said.
Stephen Lussier, Forevermark CEO, commented, “With
Forevermark achieving sales at a retail value of around
$750 million a year, our retail partners and consumers
are really embracing the brand. Consumer preference
for branded diamonds and diamond jewellery is set to
continue to increase in 2015. As Forevermark’s distinctive
brand proposition addresses confidence issues on
quality and integrity, and provides the assurances that
today’s consumers are demanding from their high value
purchases, we are well positioned to succeed as a leading
force in the category.”
Forevermark’s licensee programme saw the brand
expand into Botswana and Turkey. Since the Turkish
launch with exclusive partner Zen Diamond in May last
year, Forevermark diamonds are already available in 42
stores, with more openings planned in 2015. In addition,
Middle East partner, Damas opened a new store in Saudi
Arabia selling Forevermark.
The ongoing success of Forevermark has led to
unprecedented growth at The Forevermark Diamond
Institute. In 2014, grading and inscriptions increased by a
significant 67% and 47% respectively, year on year, and a
milestone was reached when the one millionth diamond
was inscribed with the Forevermark unique inscription
number and icon. In the last quarter, a new inscription and
grading facility in Surat, India began operations ahead of
schedule. With 100 newly trained staff, it is expected to
have the same capacity as the Antwerp facility by the end
of 2017.
Forevermark said its new marketing campaign has been
positively received in the US, India and licensee markets
to date, and will launch in Greater China this spring.
Lussier added, “We
have set ourselves
ambitious targets for
2015 and continue
our plans to expand
further in existing and
new markets. We look
forward to working with
our partners around the
world to maximise what
is a real opportunity for
Forevermark in the year
ahead.” 
US retail industry sales,
excluding automobiles,
petrol stations, and
restaurants, will increase
4.1%, up from the 3.5%
growth seen in 2014,
according to the National
Retail Federation’s (NRF’s)
2015 economic forecast.
The NRF also announced
it expects non-store sales
in 2015 to grow between
7% and 10%. The 4.1%
increase would mark the
biggest annual growth since
2011 when retail sales for
the year increased 5.1%.
“Already facing far
fewer obstacles than this
time last year in terms
of growth opportunities,
retailers are optimistic
about the potential that
exists for healthy growth in
retail sales and consumer
engagement in 2015,”
said NRF president and
CEO Matthew Shay. “While
our outlook for the year
ahead is positive, we aren’t
quite out of the woods;
in order to see continued
momentum we need a
commitment from our
leaders in Washington to
pass legislation that will
encourage investment,
create jobs and set us on
the path towards sustained,
long-term economic
“The economy appears
to finally have gained some
real traction and after a
somewhat turbulent 2014,
we expect to see continued
gains in economic activity
in the year ahead,” said
NRF chief economist
Jack Kleinhenz. “While
Americans are benefiting
from a pickup in wages and
jobs and gains in the US
stock market, economic
slack has been reduced.
We still, however, have
a ways to go in order
to achieve sustainable
economic growth. There
are a few wild cards that
the retailers will need to
keep an eye on, like global
economic growth, energy
prices and even inflation.”
The NRF’s baseline
outlook for growth in the
economy as measured by
GDP is expected to land
between 2.7% and 3.2%
percent over last year.
Growth in the labour market
should average between
US Retail Sales To Increase 4.1% In 2015: NRF
2,20,000 and 2,30,000
new jobs per month
throughout the year. Also,
unemployment is expected
to drop to 5% by year’s
end. Additionally, gains in
equities and housing have
boosted net worth to record
levels, helping consumers
feel more confident about
household spending. 
Blue Nile Q4 Sales Increase 7.9% To $157.4 Mn
Seattle-based online jewellery retailer Blue Nile sales
increased 7.9% to $157.4 million for the fourth quarter
that ended January 4, 2015 compared to $146 million in
the previous fiscal year. Net income for the three-month
period slipped 2% to $4.8 million. Blue Nile reported sales
of $473.5 million for the
full fiscal year compared
to $450 million in the
corresponding period a
year earlier, an increase of
5.2%. Net income for the
fiscal year ended was $9.7
million, a decline of 11%
versus a year ago.
“Our fourth quarter
growth continues the
positive momentum from
the third quarter in spite
of what was a challenging
quarter for many jewellery
retailers,” said Harvey
Kanter, Blue Nile chairman,
CEO and president. “While
these results are below
44 solitaire INTERNATIONAL april 2015
our expectations, the above-industry growth demonstrates
that we made progress and gained share. We remain
confident in the underlying strategy; more people are
realising that buying online – and at Blue Nile specifically
– provides a superior selection and industry-leading
quality at an unmatched price. It’s one of the reasons
why, despite a tough quarter for the industry, Blue Nile
continued to grow.”
US engagement sales for the fourth quarter 2014
increased 7.9% to $85 million, and increased 4.1% to
$266.4 million for the full fiscal year. US non-engagement
sales for the fourth quarter 2014 increased 6.3% to $48.8
million, and grew 4.2% to $126 million during the year.
International sales for the fourth quarter 2014
were $23.6 million, an increase of 10.9%. Full-year
international sales rose 10.8% to $81.1 million. During the
fiscal year ended January 4, 2015, Blue Nile repurchased
a total of 1.2 million shares for $40.3 million.
For the first quarter of 2015, Blue Nile expects net sales
of between $107 million and $110 million. Earnings per
diluted share are projected at $0.07 to $0.09. For the
fiscal year 2015, net sales are expected to be between
$488 million and $505 million and earnings per diluted
share are projected at $0.83 to $0.93. 

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